Autism Society Greater Akron continues to #CelebrateDifferences

ASGA builds an inclusive society for the autism community 
to live fully through connection and acceptance.

March 18, 2021 – This April, the Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) continues to celebrate differences as it works to build an inclusive society where individuals with autism live fully through connection and acceptance. As such, ASGA is advocating for lawmakers at the state, federal, and global level, designate April as Autism Acceptance Month (AAM), a shift from the commonly used phrase “Autism Awareness Month.”

“ASGA is joining the Autism Society of America, along with many national autism organizations and our sister affiliates across the country, including the six Ohio affiliates, to collectively advocate for the new designation,” said Laurie Cramer, Executive Director of ASGA. “We will also offer opportunities to both the individuals and families we serve, as well as the greater community, to participate in the month with a variety of activities.”

Christopher Banks, President and CEO of the Autism Society of America, states, “While we will always work to spread awareness, words matter – the need for acceptance is greater than ever, as we strive for individuals on the autism spectrum to live fully in all areas of life.” Many individuals and organizations recognize April as “Autism Acceptance Month” and we hope that our advocacy efforts can officially designate April as such, and create language consistency across this community.”

Cramer continued, “This name change will build momentum around ASGA’s mission for communities to be more aware of autism, promote acceptance, and to become more inclusive in everyday life. Designed to build awareness of the realities of autism, #CelebrateDifferences encourages individuals with autism and their families to live full, quality lives through connection and acceptance.”

To highlight April in the Greater Akron area, learn more about the following programs:

World Autism Day: On April 2, ASGA will kick-off its “#IAmMe” series, a five minute Vlog about autism spectrum disorder for people who want to learn more about ASD. The series will continue throughout the month of April, with different speakers and subjects, about life with autism.

Virtual Board: #IamMe is a virtual board opportunity through Padlet to post messages to empower individuals on the spectrum and their families by highlighting our strengths. ASGA challenges its audience to share photos of themselves doing a favorite activity, to showcase pride and promote acceptance.

Family Fun Night: On April 23, ASGA will host an online party for families to #CelebrateDifferences together. Register on our website and we’ll send you the party!

Step Into Autism 54 Challenge: ASGA’s largest fundraiser and family resource event kicks-off on April 24 with a 54 Day Challenge that ends June 19, in Lock 3, with a Family Fun Day and resource fair.

In the United States, the autism prevalence rate has risen from 1 in 125 children in 2010, to 1 in 54 in 2021 – recognizing this continued increase, ASGA’s goal for AAM is to further increase awareness about autism signs, symptoms and opportunities through: information and referrals, educational and family events, printable and digital resources, and community partnerships. Awareness leads to acceptance, which is often one of the biggest barriers to finding and developing a strong support system throughout the lifespan.

The Autism Society understands the importance of fostering acceptance to ignite change through improved support and opportunities in education, employment, accessible housing, affordable health care and comprehensive long-term services and supports.

Learn how you can #CelebrateDifferences by visiting our website.

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The Autism Society of Greater Akron (ASGA) is part of a nationwide network of affiliates that are part of the Autism Society of America, the nation’s largest and oldest grassroots autism organization.  ASGA serves Summit, Stark, Wayne, Portage and Medina counties (OH) and works locally to achieve its mission --to improve the lives of all affected by autism.